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Windows 98 Stable ?


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I am a Newbie and i am tiyoing to learn so please bear with me .

I continue to hear from older computer guys and also at an interveiw that Windows 98 is a solid OS. When in school and in my text books. Windows 98 is consittered t s stale as WIdows 2000/XP. The Reason is that Windows 98 is backward Compatible (16-Bit 32-bit) and 2K/XP are complete 32-bit.

Windows 98 loads DOS 16-bit drivers then goes into Windows 98 (DOS core).

Windows 2k/XP start off with a 32-bit program called NTldr (eliminated the DOS core)

My question is. 98 being backward compatible makes it unstable ? With 98 having vmachines I would think that would make it stable.

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Windows 98 was not a bad operating system, but stable it was not. I remember having to reinstall regularly every few months. Windows 98 SE was more stable than the original 98, but it still needed regular reinstalls.

One reason I think for the chronic instability was the FAT / FAT32 file system. Every time I ran scandisk, it found at least a dozen or so lost file fragments. Eventually this would render the whole Windows system unstable.

Of course at that time we did not have large disk drives, so very few people did regular full backups. Thus the frequent reinstalls.

Although Windows 2000 and XP are far more stable than 9x, especially when running with the NTFS file system, if you have the capability to take a full system backup of Windows 98 once it is fully installed, then you can just run a restore when the system becomes unstable.

So much about stability. More importantly we should talk about security.

If you plan to connect Windows 98 to the Internet, this has become very unsafe. Win98 is no longer supported by Microsoft, thus no security updates will be made available. Even 3rd-party security softwares (e.g. ZoneAlarm 6.5) will no longer run on Win98.

So, IMHO, standalone Windows 98 with a full backup: no problem. Windows 98 connected to the Internet: not recommended!

Regarding backwards compatibility; I believe even XP can still run old applications in 16bit mode. However, I have never tried it...

P.S. there is a website somewhere out there that has all Win98 updates that were ever released. However I don't have the address. Someone around here should know it.

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